Untangling Alpha And Lydia’s Backstory On ‘The Walking Dead’

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In this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, “Omega,” writer Channing Powell and director David Boyd took us through at least part of the origins tale for Alpha and her daughter, Lydia. However, the story — as relayed by Lydia to both Henry and Daryl — is confused and mixed-up, owing to a lifetime of gaslighting by Alpha. Lydia — who is the “Omega” in this story (Samantha Morton is Alpha, and we’ll meet her right hand, Ryan Hurst’s Beta later on) has been brainwashed by her own mother into believing that she is responsible for her father’s death.

Lydia and Alpha’s story begins in a shelter in Baltimore, 23 days after the zombie outbreak. They have been cooped up with Lydia’s father and others for three weeks, and Alpha’s mind is starting to go. She’s going stir crazy from the anxiety and isolation. “The look in my Dad’s eye. I still see it. How cold it is,” Lydia tells Henry. But her memories are confused. It was never her father with the cold eyes, nor was it her mother with the “Lydia” tattoo, and it was never her mother who sang to her. It was always her father, who never shaved his beard, either, as Lydia misremembers.

It was Alpha, in fact, who cut off her hair. “The world’s over. I’m doing what I want now,” Alpha told her husband as she snipped off her locks. It’s in the hair cutting where Lydia’s memories untangle, after Daryl catches Lydia in a misremembrance. It wasn’t her father who beat her with a switch. Her father is dead, and the bruises from the beatings on Lydia’s arms are still fresh. It’s Alpha who continues to beat Lydia, and it is Alpha who led Lydia to believe that her father died trying to protect her. In reality, Alpha killed her father, because she believed him to be weak.

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